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Parishes pledge £10,000-a-year to keep library open

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FOUR parish councils have joined together to pledge £10,000-a-year until 2022 to keep Stockton Heath Library open.
The councils at Stockton Heath, Appleton, Hatton and Walton will contribute to the fund although it is hoped that as other means of making the library building pay-its-way, their contributions will reduce.
Three organisations are considering relocating to the library to increase the building’s earning potential – including Stockton Heath Parish Council itself.
Chairman Cllr Peter Walker (pictured) said: “We think the library will be an excellent location for the council.
“We have been at the Sandy Lane Centre for some time but it is not ideal and some people have difficulty finding it. If we move out, if will also make it available for other interested groups.”
Cllr Walker stressed that whatever changes were made to the library building they would not diminish its role as a library.”
Cllr Sharon Harris, chairman of the working group set up to draw up proposals for the future use of the library said: : “We have sent our final report to the borough council’s Libraries Working Group, which is working to sustain, promote and development library services across the borough.
“I am quietly confident our proposals will find favour. Things are looking positive.”
She said one of the proposals was to establish a small café in the library, opening out into Alexandra Park.
A separate Friends group has been established to consider other options for future use of the library building and attract more community use.
Cllr Harris added:“But whatever is proposed, it will not impact on the library. The building will remain, first and foremost, a library with the same number of books. Hopefully there will be room for growth.”
Stockton Heath is the best-used library in the borough and serves most of the South Warrington area. In fact, it has been established that only a quarter of its users come from Stockton Heath.

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